Collmenter Helps D-backs Earn Win

The Arizona Diamondbacks got a superhuman effort from long reliever Josh Collmenter Wednesday in their 3-1 win over the Miami Marlins at Chase Field. With the win, Arizona also won the three-game series and improved to 39-33 on the season.

Collmenter came in for an injured Trevor Cahill in the second inning after Cahill took a line drive off the hip in the first and couldn't continue. Collmenter was lights out, lasting six innings while giving up one hit and one walk. He struck out seven while throwing 78 pitches.  This is a role that Collmenter has become accustomed to, pitching in several different scenarios including in mop-up situations, long relief and others.

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Coyotes Maloney Happy To Have Tippett Back

The Phoenix Coyotes made an official announcement at Arena Monday and although it may not have been the one several fans have been clamoring for over the past few years about ownership, it was definitely a big step in the right direction.

The team signed Tippett to a long-term contract extension last week, just days before his current deal was set to expire on July 1.

"I always felt fairly certain that we could find a way to make a deal," Coyotes GM Don Maloney said. "Obviously it took a little longer than maybe you would've liked because of the uncertainty surrounding the team but the good thing is that this saga is ending, fairly soon.  In Tip's case, since he's been here, he's sort of set the identity of the team.  You know who we are as a franchise, how we have to play to have success."

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Cardinals rookie Jonathan Cooper adjusting to NFL

Arizona Cardinals' fans know that the offensive line is an area that left much to be desired after watching their team over the past few years and they're hoping some of the offseason additions at the position will make an impact this year.

One of the new members of the unit is offensive guard Jonathan Cooper from North Carolina. Cooper was selected seventh overall in the 2013 draft and he's slowly but surely making the adjustment to the NFL.

"I mean it's getting a little bit easier every day but really just still trying to focus on learning the playbook, the physical aspect of it will be there but really just trying to be more of a technician and more mentally sound," said Cooper Monday after the start of another round of organized team activities or OTAs.

Rookies tend to struggle with some physical adjustments from college to the National Football League, but often times the biggest hurdle is information overload.

"Just the playbook, there are so many components to it, so many layers, so many different calls, so many different situations you're in that you have to be prepared for," said Cooper. "So that's been the toughest part of the transition." Read More.

D-backs' Tyler Skaggs impresses in first start of 2013

Left-hander Tyler Skaggs was back in the Arizona Diamondbacks clubhouse Monday for the first time since spring training, and made his first big league start since September 20, 2012. He looked in control during his six innings of work and pitched through a tough Texas Rangers lineup en route to an impressive 5-3 victory.

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Tyler Skaggs delivers a pitch against the Texas Rangers during the first inning of an inter league baseball game, Monday, May 27, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

"Come on, he was lights out," said manager Kirk Gibson. "Just got all of his pitches over and he executed a great game plan. He had three pitches going. Six innings was great, 102 pitches, he did a great job."

In six innings, the 21-year-old gave up three hits, no runs and struck out a career-high nine batters. Skaggs was brought up as the 26th player for Monday's doubleheader. He replaced starter Ian Kennedy, who's recovering from a cut on the index finger of his pitching hand.

"Spring training was tough for him but certainly he's been on a roll lately in the minor leagues and he threw the ball that way (Monday). We just tell him, you gotta learn how to treat it that way when you're here," said Gibson. "There's no reason you can't throw strikes and execute down there and execute here. You have to trust your defense and just make pitches."

Skaggs came into Monday's game with a 5.23 ERA in nine starts with Triple-A Reno, but in his last three games with the Aces he showed notable improvement with a 2-1 record and a 2.66 ERA.

"Oh yeah, it definitely feels good," said Skaggs after the win. "It feels good to come back to show that spring training was one of those things where I was working out some mechanical problems and now I feel like I'm on top of my game." Read More.

D-backs manager Gibson acknowledges tough schedule ahead

The Arizona Diamondbacks start a grueling stretch on Wednesday night when they play the Rangers in Texas before heading to Chicago and St. Louis. Sixteen of their next 19 games are away from Chase Field, and both Texas and St. Louis currently lead their respective divisions.

"Always a challenge but we've been pretty good on the road. We've played a fair amount of games there and we've been pretty good," said D-backs manager Kirk Gibson. "These guys get along well, again they prepare well and we've got a good routine."

Gibson is right, too. They're 14-10 on the road in 2013 and have won six of their last nine away from the Valley. The club has also spent a fair share of off-days in the visiting city, trying to acclimate to the time change and environment as soon as possible.

"I think our organization as a whole works very hard to try and make it so we can be as efficient with our time and our energy and our resources as we can with wherever we're at and whatever situation we're in," said the skipper Monday.

The D-backs currently sit in first place in the National League West with a two-game lead over the Giants and the Rockies. They've overcome injuries and their depth has helped them maintain an edge and a spot at the top of the division. That same depth could be tested over the next couple weeks. Read More.